What is it about Pembroke Pines that makes retired athletes flock there? We've told you about Kenny Anderson, the former New Jersey Nets star who recently invited a slew of his illegitimate children to the city, as well as Deon Thomas, the University of Illinois great who became a star in European basketball and retired to Pembroke Pines before taking a job to coach a community college in suburban St. Louis. Now you can count former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Marty Booker in that club -- at least until he got a phone call from a coach in Atlanta.
At age 33, Booker had played his last game for the Chicago Bears and was packing up his home there for a retirement in Pembroke Pines. But Terry Robiskie, who coached Booker with the Dolphins and was now a coach for the Falcons, had just watched one of his receivers go down with an injury. He wanted see whether he could coax Booker out of South Florida.
After hanging up with Robiskie, he finished packing up the Chicago place and had his belongings shipped to his house in Pembroke Pines, Fla., where they remain unpacked. The move has required an adjustment, but he's fine with his support role with the Falcons.
Before last week's explosions of big plays in San Francisco, Booker had the team's longest gain of the season, a 27-yard reception against Carolina. He has four catches for 59 yards (14.8 per catch).
"I knew from being around for awhile that once I got at least four or five days under my belt, I would start to pick it up and get back into that football shape," Booker said.